Get Ready for the Hottest Holiday Promotion

New holiday promo mashes up Idaho potatoes, Litehouse herbs

Two category leaders are spicing up both side dishes and produce sales with a new retail promotion for the 2019 holiday season.

The Idaho Potato Commission and Litehouse Inc. are partnering on freestanding display units with coupon pads for the "Mix, Mash & Be Merry" promotion running from Nov. 1 through Dec. 31. The coupon offers shoppers $1 off any Litehouse freeze-dried herb with the purchase of a five-pound bag of Idaho potatoes. The shipper, billed as a holiday sides destination, features two cases each of four Litehouse herb products: chives, garlic, parsley, and poultry herb blend.

"Our freeze-dried herbs are a perfect match for Idaho potatoes," said Theresa Lindholm, brand manager for Sandpoint, ID-based Litehouse. "Who isn't buying potatoes for their holiday meals? And our biggest seasonality is for the holidays, when fresh herbs aren't in season."

Litehouse's freeze-drying process locks in flavor to deliver the taste and aroma associated with freshly picked herbs, with no prep time or food waste and a three-year shelf life. Compared with dried herbs, Litehouse freeze-dried herbs have bolder flavors, brighter colors and stronger smells. Package labels note the fresh product equivalent inside each jar, highlighting the value of the freeze-dried herb option.

"Holiday cooks are looking for ways to make their lives easier at this hectic time of year, and the promotion shows them how convenient it can be to create a high-quality side dish," said Lindholm. "Different herbs can make good garnishes for potato side dishes or add to the flavor of a favorite potato recipe. The poultry herb product offers even more convenience, with a blend of herbs that would be delicious with potatoes and with stuffing for the Thanksgiving turkey."

"With the strong market penetration of both Idaho potatoes and Litehouse herbs, we anticipate that this will be an exceptional sales driver for retailers," said Seth Pemsler, vice president of retail and international for IPC. "It's the ideal launch platform for the new crop of Idaho potatoes this fall, and a great incentive for shoppers to purchase five-pound bags during the upcoming holiday season."

In addition to setting up the shipper next to five-pound bags of Idaho potatoes in the produce aisle, retailers can incorporate the holiday sides promotion into an ad without taking a markdown.

Kent Beesley, IPC's retail promotion director-West, said he is advising retailers to position the Litehouse/IPC shipper alongside secondary displays to maximize sales during the promotional period.

"We ran a test with a major retailer that proved secondary displays will give you a 22 percent higher dollar sales lift for the time that the displays are up," Beesley said. "And I think this holiday herb and potato promotion will be really big, especially for Thanksgiving. It's a great tie-in."